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Howren, Robert
Personne

Robert (Bob) Howren, a native of Georgia, received his BA from Wake Forest in 1950 and MA from the University of Connecticut in 1952 (both in English), and his PhD from Indiana University in 1958 (in English linguistics). Following a teaching term at Wake Forest, he moved to the University of Iowa in 1962, where he chaired the Interdepartmental Program in Linguistics 1965-70 and was the founding chair of the Department of Linguistics 1970-75. In the summer of 1965 Howren did a summer season of fieldwork in Fort Rae (Behchokǫ̀), following up with research assistant Charles Pyle in 1967. During the 1960's he also served as a language-training consultant to the Peace Corps in Malaya and was a Fulbright Lecturer in English at the University of Mandalay in Burma. He came to Chapel Hill in 1976, where he chaired the Dept. of Linguistics and Non-Western Languages 1976-81, retiring in 1994. While his research interests included American English dialects and the history of English, his primary specialization was phonology, with concentration on the Northeastern Athapaskan languages of the Canadian Northwest. He conducted fieldwork in these languages, most notably Tłı̨chǫ, some in collaboration with his second wife, Phyllis. This work was supported by the National Museum of Canada, among other funders. Following his retirement, he began a new project on Yucatec Maya, carrying out fieldwork in the vicinity of Xocen, Mexico and delivering a paper on the topic at a conference in Guadalajara. Robert R. Howren, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, died on September 5, 1997, at the age of 68.

Kennedy, Pi
Personne · December 9, 1926 -

Alexander Philip (Pi) John Kennedy was born in Fort Smith on December 9, 1926, the first son of Philip Kennedy and Leoni Mercredi. In 1932 his mother died of tuberculosis at the age of 23. Pi went to residential school in Fort Resolution for two years, but his father took him out in 1934 to help trap. In 1936 his father built a cabin near Nataway Lake. Around that time, at the age of ten, Pi started driving a dog team, which would start a lifelong dedication to mushing. In 1944 Pi's father died of tuberculosis.

Throughout his life Pi generally trapped through the winter and spring on his trapline (sometimes partnering with someone else for the spring hunt) and got various seasonal summer work around Fort Smith. This included jobs such as crushing rock, digging and setting power poles, putting in the Fort Smith water system, working for Forestry, or in construction. In years where the trapping was good he did not need to take summer work.

Pi started taking photographs in earnest in the 1960s, and he also documented his life on Super8 film. Not only did he document aspects of life as a trapper and dog musher, but he also documented the community of Fort Smith, parades, fastball tournaments, special events and his extended family. His keen interest in radio, baseball, animals and dog mushing is documented as well. Pi notably trapped exclusively with a dog team until 1986. Even after buying a snow machine he continued to use dogs in the bush.

In 2010 at the age of 84, Pi suffered a stroke out on the trapline. After this, he moved himself and his dogs to Fort Smith permanently. Multiple books have been published about his life, including a series of children’s books in Cree published by the Northwest Territory Métis Nation in the 2000s, and a biography published with Patti-Kay Hamilton in 2023, launched on his 97th birthday.

Vittrekwa, Enna
Personne · January 22, 1950 -

Enna Rose Vittrekwa is a Gwich'in language expert. She was born to William and Mary Vittrekwa in Fort McPherson on January 22, 1950. Enna was employed as an interpreter-translator for the Government of the NWT, Department of Culture and Communications from 1982-1990. She provided translation and interpretation to the GNWT and the public, and worked on Dene language standardization. She has also worked for CKLB Radio in Yellowknife, the Gwich'in Language Centre in Fort McPherson, as well as a language instructor in high schools in Whitehorse.

Roberts, Ken
Personne · February 9, 1928 - March 3, 2010

Kenneth George (Ken) Roberts was born February 9, 1928. He worked initially as a fishing guide in Manitoba then worked on Lake Winnipeg. He first travelled to Hay River in 1950 as a summer student with the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. Ken moved to Hay River in 1956 with his wife Ruth to work for the Fisheries Research Board, later transitioning to the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans where he spent part of his work visiting fishing camps on Great Slave Lake. He was involved in the Great Slave Lake fishing industry for over 40 years. He died March 3, 2010.

Paré, Suzanne

Suzanne Paré (née Benita Girard) was born and raised on the Canadian Prairies. She trained as a Registered Nurse (RN) and largely worked in urban centres for the first 10 years of her career.

From May to September 1985, Paré pursued an opportunity to work on a summer term contract at the cottage hospital (health centre) in Behchoko. This work included medevacs by ambulance and float plane in addition to regular shift work. While in Behchoko, Paré enjoyed many activities both on her own and with community members, including her three-minute jog to work, biking, sailing on Great Slave Lake, barbecues, bingos, and tea dances. Paré developed deep respect for community members and continues to appreciate the shared stories and friendships developed while she lived in Behchoko.

Following her time in Behchoko, Paré lived and worked as an RN in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, and in various communities in the Yukon. Later in life, she pursued university studies in Economics and was employed by the federal public service. Recently retired, Paré enjoys living closer to nature and developing her creativity through photography and writing.

Suzanne Paré donated her collection of slides to the NWT Archives in 2023.

Collectivité

The Department of Information, initially known as Information Services, was organized in Ottawa in May of 1967. The department was re-established in Yellowknife under the direction of E. R. Horton with the transfer of the government in September 1967.

The Department of Information was responsible for informing residents of the Northwest Territories of the policies, programs and activities of the Government of the Northwest Territories, informing the public outside of the Territories about the north, and providing inter-governmental information systems. In addition, it was responsible for meeting the printing, translation, graphic design and publication needs of the Government of the Northwest Territories. By 1969, the Still Photo Library, a component of of the Information Services Department, had catalogued and indexed more than 1100 colour transparencies and 500 black and white negatives.

In 1970, the department was organized into two divisions: Publications and Public Relations. The Publications Division was involved in the research, writing, editing, and designing a variety of government publications, such as the Annual Report and newsletters; its Printing section, later known as the Printing Bureau, handled all Government of the Northwest Territories printing requirements either in-house or through the private sector. In 1979, the head of the Printing Bureau was appointed Territorial Printer and the responsibility for printing all new Northwest Territories ordinances was assumed from the Queen's Printer in 1980.

The Public Relations division, later renamed Public Affairs, was responsible for all public relations functions including press releases, films, slide shows, liaison with the press, escorting dignitaries, translation services and maintaining a photo library. In 1973, an Interpreter-Translator Corps was established within the Public Relations division to meet the needs of communications in the multi-lingual north. The Corps was to provide Dene and Inuit oral interpretation and written translation services for the GNWT, Council of the NWT and other groups and agencies. It also assisted with communications between aboriginal peoples and the government, hospitals, and courts. A radio program production centre was created to provide programming to community stations and prepare government information packages on topics such as the Northwest Territories Council, Home Management and Consumer Affairs. A review of Department of Information functions in 1976 indicated that regionalization of its programs was required. Interpreter-translators in each region became responsible for determining the communication needs within their region and providing programming ideas and materials. The Yellowknife headquarters acted as the service agency for the production of required programs. In 1982, the Interpreter-Translator Corps was reorganized into the Language Bureau to handle the priorities in language and culture activities as set by the Legislative Assembly and the Executive Council. This function was a priority and money was redirected to the Language Bureau from other activities.

Another major initiative of the Department of Information was the Northern Communications Program established in 1978. The program provided the facilities for satellite-fed northern television and radio service to communities. Initially, facilities were provided for communities with populations between 250 and 500 people. These requirements were reduced to communities of 150 people in 1981 and then to communities with populations less than 150 people with an established power supply. By 1986, facilities existed in all qualifying communities. A grant program for operating costs was also offered to local radio stations providing native language programming.

The Department of Information produced a variety of public information brochures on topics such as the Dene, Inuit, canoeing, transportation, climate, flora, and fauna of the Northwest Territories. Poster series promoting the north were produced, as well as "The Traditional Life Series" consisting of prints of Dene and Inuit.

In 1985, the Government of the Northwest Territories consolidated cultural and communications related activities. The newly formed Department of Culture and Communications assumed the functions of the Department of Information.

Boutilier, Arthur
Personne · 1946-

Arthur George Boutilier was born in 1946 to Jack and E. Claire Boutilier in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He had three sisters, Catherine, Daphne, and Barbara.

Arthur attended Gorsebrook and Tower Road Schools in Halifax and Kings College School in Windsor, Nova Scotia. He received additional education at Dalhousie University (1963-1965), the Nova Scotia Technical School of Architecture (1965-1969), and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (1969-1971), earning an engineering diploma, Bachelor of Architecture, and Masters of Landscape Architecture. He worked for architectural and urban design consulting firms in the United States, including Llewlyn-Davies Associates, William L. Pereira Associates, and Ben-Ami Friedman, AIP. In 1975, Arthur discovered R. Buckminster Fuller’s book “Synergetics”, which influenced and altered his design thinking.

In 1976, Arthur joined Parks Canada with a job in national park planning. He became involved in an investigation of the Torngat Mountains and Mealy Mountains in Labrador as proposed National Parks, which touched him deeply and ignited a passion for the North. He was also involved with developing a park management plan for Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland.

In 1981, Arthur moved to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and was employed as a Senior Planner and Urban Designer for the Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Local Government, doing community-based town planning. From 1984 until his retirement in 2011, he worked for the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, becoming involved with the Northwest Territories Land Use Planning Commission (1984-1986), Lancaster Sound Regional Land Use Planning Commission (1984-1991), and Nunavut Planning Commission (1989-1991) in regional land use planning for various areas including Lancaster Sound, Keewatin, Sahtu, and Deh Cho. Later job titles included Special Advisory, Head Projects & Planning, Nunavut Land Use Planning Coordinator, and Mackenzie Valley Land Use Planning Coordinator. Following retirement, he served as a board member of the Gwich’in Land Use Planning Board from 2017-2020.

Arthur’s father was a photographer and Arthur’s own interest in photography stems from his experience at Expo’67 in Montreal. He has steadily cultivated it since then, taking thousands of images and showing his work in several exhibits.

In 1983, Arthur applied to the Canadian Astronaut Program, making the first cut. He was also involved with the northern SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Program chapter.

Arthur struggled with alcoholism throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, finally accessing treatment in 1991 and becoming involved with Alcoholics Anonymous. He met Dale Murphy in 1992, the love of his life, and the two were married on July 10, 1994. Arthur and Dale continue to live in Yellowknife.

Collectivité

Gordon Robertson Education Centre (GREC) opened in 1971 as a junior and senior high school and vocational school. In addition to local students from Iqaluit, its enrolment included students from other communities who were housed in Ukkivik Hall, which opened along with GREC and closed in 1996. In the early 1990s, the school was renamed Inuksuk High School.

Low, Alexander Halley
Personne · 1892-1974

Alexander Halley Low was born March 29,1892 in Kensington, London, England, the son of Alexander Graham Low and Annie Halley. He received a Master of Arts degree from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and studied geology at the Royal School of Mines, London. He served in World War I, mostly in Ireland.

Around 1914, Alexander went on an oil prospecting trip in the Northwest Territories with Dr. T. O. Bosworth. Following the War, he returned to the Northwest Territories as an oil prospector in the Great Slave Slake region for the Imperial Oil Company. While there, he was approached by Bishop James R. Lucas to teach at the St. Peter's Mission (Residential) School in Hay River ca. 1918-19. In the early 1920s he continued oil exploration in the Fort Norman (now Tulita) area of the Northwest Territories with Mackenzie River Oil Ltd.

Alexander also did some oil prospecting in Peru and was a member of the Royal Geographical Society. He married Dorothy Lindesay Gregory in 1933 and had two children, Jean Mary Lindesay Low and Alexander John Stewart Low. Alexander Halley Low died July 2, 1974 in Ferring, Sussex, England.

Barnabe, Claire
Personne · 1940-

Claire Barnabe was born on November 13, 1940 in Eastview (now Vanier), Ontario. She attended Our Lady of the Presentation in Overbrook for elementary school and Eastview High School in Vanier for secondary school. Claire was a member of the religious order of Holy Cross for four years. She attended Ottawa Teachers' College and obtained a permanent Ontario Teachers' Certificate. She taught at an elementary school in Alexandria, Ontario, Iona Academy in St. Raphael’s West, Ontario, for the Catholic School Board in Montreal, and for the Separate School Board in Ottawa before moving north.

In 1965, she accepted a teaching position at Fort Franklin (now Deline), where she worked until 1967. During her time in Deline, she was also Secretary of the Community Club. In 1968, after spending a year in the south and touring Europe, Claire returned to the north to work as a teacher in Fort Providence. She was also President of the Community Club there and Chairman of the NWT Centennial Planning Committee for Fort Providence.

In 1969, she left her teaching position in Fort Providence and moved to Norman Wells where she worked at the Mackenzie Mountain Lodge. She moved back to Fort Providence later that year to work for Alex Arychuk, also in the hotel business. In the 1970 Territorial election, she ran as a candidate for the Lower Mackenzie riding. Following her defeat in the election, she applied to work as a Settlement Manager.

In May 1971, she accepted the position of settlement manager in Port Burwell on Killinek Island, where she remained until May 1973. After a very brief time as Settlement Manager at Large for the Baffin Region, she became the Settlement Manager at Repulse Bay (now Naujaat, Nunavut). Also in 1973, she was appointed to be a member of the NWT Historical Advisory Board. In 1974, Claire returned to Norman Wells as Settlement Manager there. She ran in the 1975 Territorial election and the 1976 by-election for the riding of Mackenzie Great Bear, but was defeated both times.

She took leave from the GNWT in 1976 to work on a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Carleton University, Ottawa. In 1978, she joined Bud Drury’s office as a policy analyst. She ran again in the 1979 Territorial election for the riding of Yellowknife Centre and was again defeated. Claire remained in the north for many more years, before retiring to the south.

McCollum, John Turquand
Personne · 1923-2020

John Turquand (Turq) McCollum was born May 12, 1923, in Toronto, Ontario. In 1953, he married Joan (nee Watson), and they had four children: Peter, Jenny, Kathy, and Maggie.

From 1954-1963, the McCollums lived in Fort Smith, where John was an Anglican minister of the Diocese of the Arctic. In 1963, the family moved to Beaverlodge, Alberta, where they lived until 1970. In 1970, the McCollums returned to the north and lived in Hay River. In 1975, John McCollum became Archdeacon of the Diocese of the Arctic. The McCollums continued to live in Hay River until their retirement to Calgary, Alberta, in 1988.

John McCollum died June 14, 2020, in Calgary, Alberta. He was buried with his wife Joan in Hay River.

Collectivité · 1966-2012

Samuel Hearne Secondary School (SHSS) began operating in 1966 and was officially opened two years later by Minister Jean Chretien. Prior to 1966, Inuvik students from all grades attended Sir Alexander Mackenzie School, which continued operating as an elementary school after SHSS opened. The school was originally administered by the federal government; it was transferred to the Government of the Northwest Territories in 1969, and then to the Beaufort-Delta Divisional Education Council, which was established in 1989 to administer regional schools.

The original high school building included two science rooms, a library, industrial arts and home economics facilities and a gym. A 10 classroom addition was completed in 1972, and several trade shops were added in the early 1980s to meet the needs of a vocational certificate program, including an auto shop in 1982, carpentry shop in 1983, and general mechanics shop in 1984.

In addition to residents of the town of Inuvik, the student body at SHSS also included residential school students brought from communities across the Beaufort Delta region and the Arctic to stay at the two major Federal hostels, Stringer Hall (which closed in 1975) and Grollier Hall (which closed in 1996). After the closure of the hostels, students from some small communities continued to attend SHSS for the upper high school grades while boarding in private homes in the town.

SHSS closed in 2012 when it was replaced by the new East Three Secondary School, and the building was demolished in June 2013.

Collectivité · 1977-1988

Galena Heights Elementary School opened in 1977, originally housing pupils from kindergarten to grade two. Galena Heights Elementary School was expanded in 1980 to host students up to grade five after a fire destroyed the other school in the town; the rebuilt Matonabbee School opened in 1981 for the senior grades. Both schools closed in June 1988 with the closure of the mine and community of Pine Point.

Sachs Harbour School
Collectivité · 1968-1973

The Sachs Harbour School was constructed in the summer of 1968, first opening in fall 1968 to students in grades 1-6 and originally operated by the federal government. Prior to the school being built, children were sent to Shingle Point, Aklavik, then Inuvik for schooling, and after its construction, older students continued to go to Inuvik for later grades. This school was transferred to the GNWT when it assumed responsibility for education in 1969, and was replaced by Inualthuyuk School which opened in 1973.

Collectivité · 1867-[1959?]

The provision of western education in Fort Providence began at the Providence Mission School in 1867, sometimes known as “Our Lady of Fort Providence Residential School” but more consistently known as the “Sacred Heart Mission School” or “Sacred Heart Residential School” (“École du Sacré-Coeur” in French). The school was operated by the Grey Nuns and initially was meant to provide a boarding and day school for Hudson Bay Company employee children. It soon focussed on orphaned and needy children and is known as the first residential school in Canada’s north, although other sites of shorter duration possibly predate Sacred Heart.

Sacred Heart Residential School took in both day pupils and residential boarders. It was chronically under supported, and the Grey Nuns threatened to close or possibly did close it in 1881/82, and reopened with Federal Government funding later in the 1880s. The original log structure was expanded in 1912, and a new three story school built in 1930. An extension was added to this in 1948.

Students came from communities throughout the north, and even as far south as Fort McMurray and Fond-du-Lac. In later years children came from primarily the Deh Cho region; home communities included Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Fort Liard, Wrigley, Norman Wells, Tulita, Ptarmigan Point, Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Trout Rock and Hay River, and sometimes others. It is unclear when the residential school closed, as historical sources give dates ranging from 1953 to 1960, but the Federal Elizabeth Ward Elementary School opened in 1958 and Sacred Heart Residence likely closed in 1959.

Collectivité

The provision of western education in Inuvik began immediately during the community’s construction, with a temporary Federal school in 1956. Several of the attending children came from Aklavik, from where community government officials were strongly encouraging families to relocate. In 1959 a large new regional school opened, officially named Sir Alexander Mackenzie School (SAMS) in 1961. This school housed all grades until Samuel Hearne Secondary School was built in 1966. By that time SAMS had 38 classrooms and capacity for 890 students from grades 1 to 12.

In 1969 all educational facilities in Inuvik were transferred to the Government of the Northwest Territories, who assumed responsibilities for education from the federal government. The Beaufort-Delta Divisional Education Council was established in 1989 to administer regional schools.

In addition to residents of the town of Inuvik, the student body at SAMS for much of its history also included residential school students brought from communities across the Beaufort Delta region and the Arctic to stay at the two major Federal hostels, Stringer Hall (which closed in 1975) and Grollier Hall (which closed in 1996).

SAMS continued to operate as an elementary school until 2012, when it was replaced by the new East Three Elementary School. The SAMS building was demolished in May 2014.